The Indian cyber cell sleuths of the city crime branch nabbed two Nigerians – Salestine Baneme, 32, and Lona Thomas, 32, both residents of Malavianagar of New Delhi, for blackmailing two women registered on a matrimonial website to pay them a huge sum of money. The accused had threatened them that they would morph their pictures and make them viral on the social media.
The crime branch sources said it was a tough job for them to locate the two Nigerian nationals in a densely populated area of Malalvianagar. “We posed as salesmen from a telecom company and moved in Malvianagar on the pretext of improving the signal strength of the service provider,” said a crime branch official.
A working woman, registered on a matrimonial site, got a friend request from Salestine Baneme, who had created a fake profile by the name of Raju Williams on the same site.
The woman, Kavita, accepted his friend request and then the two started chatting on various social media platforms.
Joint commissioner of police, crime branch, J K Bhatt said that the accused sent a marriage proposal to Kavita which she readily accepted. “The accused told her that he was working as an engineer in Manchester in the UK and was to go on a three-week trip to Canada. He was to come to India from Canada,” said Bhatt.
Meanwhile, the accused asked Kavita to send her personal pictures to him. “Kavita refused first, but as the accused convinced her that he was her future husband, she agreed and sent him her two pictures,” added Bhatt.
Next day Baneme told Kavita that he had sent a parcel containing 35 thousand pounds and that she should receive it.
Inspector J S Geddam said that three days later a woman, identifying herself as a Delhi custom department official, called up Kavita and told her that she would have to pay Rs 47, 800 as duty in a private bank account for the parcel which had come for her.
“However, as Kavita declined to pay the duty, a day later Baneme called up her and threatened her that he would morph her pictures and make them viral on the social media. Kavita then immediately approached us,” said Geddam.
During the probe the crime branch officials traced the IP address of the accused to Malavianagar in Delhi. “A team led by inspector Taral Bhatt was immediately dispatched to New Delhi and with the help of local police, they nabbed the two Nigerian nationals,” said a senior crime branch official.
During their interrogation, the accused confessed to having blackmailed another woman named Usha in similar manner. “We approached Usha and recorded her statement against the accused,” added the official.